Pteronarcys  californica


Tier: Don Shipp

Salmonflies (Pteronarcys  californica) also known as a Giant Stonefly or Willowfly  are great fly fishing in the early months of Spring and Summer.  The Nymphs and Adults are huge and huge trout love them.  Out here in the West, they are a staple for big fish during their brief hatch period (mid-May to mid-June).  As with most stoneflies, they emerge on land and spend several weeks crawling around looking for a mate.  They usually find the water by being blown  from bank-side vegetation, so the best place to cast a Salmonfly imitation is next to the bank with a downstream presentation. 

The MacSalmon fly was created by Al Troth.  Stoneflies, especially Salmonflies are my favorite.  I look forward to them each year, although some years they do not appear at all.

See also: Salmonfly Adult, Salmonfly Nymph and Albino Salmonfly Nymph.

Recipe for MacSalmon

Hook :   TMC 200R – Sizes 2, 4 & 6                    TMC 200R – Sizes 2, 4 & 6                 

Thread :   Black 6/0

Abdomen : 1) Orange close-cell foam.

Thread onto a needle and tie off 5 or 6 segments with fire orange single strand floss. Then thread onto hook leaving 2 segments extending past the hook bend.   Or...

                            2) Orange braided macramé cording.

Thread onto hook leaving some extending past the hook bend.   Melt the butt-end with a lighter.

Underwing : A few strands of Krystal Flash (orange & black)

                        Then a formed stonefly wing using Shimazaki

                        Fly Wing #11 or any  wing material. (see note below)

                        Wing should extend a little past the abdomen.

Overwing :  Light elk hair over which is Orange-dyed elk hair.

Head:   Dark moose tied bullet style. Ends make a collar

Legs :  Black round rubber, tied in with fire orange

 single strand floss.


Note :  Shimazaki Fly Wing is a material once produce by Umpqua Feather Merchants.  I have been unable to locate any in years, however, a fellow FF’er on FAOL was nice enough to send me some of his “left-overs.” There are other winging materials, such as Web Wing in Medium Dun color, that will work just as well.  Available at Fly Tying World's Store.

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